pike which runs east from the ford to Winchester
, the Second Division on the left.
The First Division was in reserve.
While this line was being formed, the enemy in front, half-way between our position and Winchester
, kept up a heavy fire of artillery.
The cavalry took position on the left of our Second Division of infantry.
Now our corps artillery coming up, four batteries, one of which was A, First Massachusetts, were placed on the corps front, under our chief of artillery, Col. Tompkins
; this was to respond to the enemy's guns, which were annoying our infantry while establishing itself on either side of the pike.
Before noon, the Nineteenth Corps had formed upon the right of the Sixth; and soon after the whole line moved forward across the uneven ground toward a belt of woods, whence proceeded the enemy's cannonade during the formation of our lines.
In front of the Nineteenth Corps was Gordon
, and before the Sixth, Ramseur
's cavalry on our extreme left was the Confederate cavalry of Lomax
Here the Federal
troop first held its adversary in check, and then forced him back.
From the first onset of our infantry, the struggle for the possession and defence of the ground became desperate.
The Sixth Corps drove back the divisions of Rodes
, and the Nineteenth, having attacked Gordon
's force, pressed it back through the wood, following to within musket shot of Braxton
's Confederate battery, which was placed unsupported behind the belt of trees through which the infantry had advanced.
This battery, however, firmly held its ground, concentrating its fire upon the ranks of the advancing Nineteenth.
Now a fresh brigade of Confederates, just arrived on the scene, with lately discomfited troops of Gordon
supporting it upon its flanks, charged through the woods on the Third Division of the Sixth and the Second Division of the Nineteenth, at their junction, causing a temporary wavering of our line, and gaining a temporary advantage, purchased, however, with the loss of the brave and able Gen. Rodes
Now the first division of the Sixth was brought into the front line.
The brigades of Edwards
, and Upton
moved into the gap caused by the Confederate
charge, the movement being facilitated by the artillery of the corps, which did good execution